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My abstract is 3 pages long; what have I done wrong?

(20 Posts)
KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 20:08:44

Oh dear

What should it have in it

I understand (now I have written it) it should be a paragraph or merely 2 sentences

<gulp>

IAmTheCookieMonster Tue 09-Aug-11 20:14:12

A couple of sentences introduction.

A couple of sentences about method - literally just the type of experiement you did.

A summary of results. Just list numbers.

A couple of sentences conclusion.

Just so the reader gets an overview before they read the whole thing and know what the outcomes are.

IAmTheCookieMonster Tue 09-Aug-11 20:14:55

Look at the abstract on one of your references, then shamelessly use it as a template!

KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 20:17:03

No references

Umm so 6-8 sentences, oh boy (where are those scissors)

IAmTheCookieMonster Tue 09-Aug-11 20:49:17

i'd aim for around 200 words, good luck!

KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 21:05:09

Does this work?

To look at the data held and recorded at XXX and examine if this might be done more efficiently and in reduced time. The outcome I expect to achieve is a better way of collection storing and retrieving data so that processes are refined and reduced enabling more efficient audit by OFSTED and YYY. As my project is dealing with improving and adapting existing systems and we are unsure how or where to start I think that initially the Soft Systems methodology will be of most use. Several new forms need to be created to replace approximately 27 different storage places which reduced the time taken in both recording them and in retrieving data to prove an audit trail.

KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 21:27:32

Bump

Go on, someone read it; then I can submit it

AnnaBegins Tue 09-Aug-11 21:34:43

Sounds good but you usually want to put in what your research found, just briefly (unless this is an abstract for a proposed project). Oh and in the first sentence use "whether" instead of "if" smile maybe take out the "i think" aswell, to sound more confident. good luck!!

welliesundermeballgoon Tue 09-Aug-11 21:42:02

I think you're going more down the introduction route there, Abstract should be telling the reader what happens start to finish in your report, including the results/expected results. HTH

welliesundermeballgoon Tue 09-Aug-11 21:43:51

Just thinking - My lecturer always said that the abstract should be the last thing you write so that you know exactly what happened start to finish

KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 21:44:24

changed it a bit

To look at the data held and recorded at XXX and examine whether this might be done more efficiently and in reduced time. The outcome I expect to achieve is a better way of collection storing and retrieving data so that processes are refined and reduced enabling more efficient audit by OFSTED and YYY. As my project is dealing with improving and adapting existing systems and I was unsure how or where to start I used the Soft Systems methodology. New forms need to be created to replace approximately 27 different storage places which reduced the time taken in both recording them and in retrieving data to prove an audit trail.

KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 21:45:09

Oh

The bit about the forms was the results

KatyMac Tue 09-Aug-11 22:12:46

To look at the data held and recorded at XXX and examine whether this might be done quickly and effectively. I expect to simplify the information held so that audit by OFSTED and YYY can be expedited. I used the Soft Systems methodology to improve and adapt existing systems. The results were that lists of data required were made and the new forms needed were created to condense over complex storage consequently improving recording and access to support an audit trail.

gingergran Wed 10-Aug-11 09:37:55

i don't know the answer so if wrong please ignore but should the abstract not be in the third person so - 'soft systems methodology was used' rather than 'I used soft systems methodology'

Miggsie Wed 10-Aug-11 09:50:05

Give enough details to get the reader interested. If you Googled the work, would it give enough information to make the reader click through to read the whole thing?

I'd look for: subject studied, scope, method used, hypothesis being tested, result.

It should be in first person: The study was to see if white noise affected the behaviour of mice. I studied mice concentrating on 10 brown house mice and using recordings of white noise examined whether this stopped them raiding my pantry. The results were recorded over 8 nights on the same group of mice and then analysed using an excel spreadsheet. The results clearly showed mice are not affected by white noise.

voodoomunkee Wed 10-Aug-11 09:56:31

I dont think it should be in 1st person but this could be cos I was always taught to write academically in the third. Just take out 'I' like ginger suggests. However your abstract is the last thing you write and it should be a few lines long and literally sum up the aim , why, where and how I think! Think of it as an attention grabber - similar to the way you scrutinise data/research etc to decide if relevant to your own topic and what you would use in assignments etc etc.

MadameLupino Wed 10-Aug-11 10:00:41

KM, think of it like a blurb to a book (on the back cover) but one that includes the surprise ending! The idea of an abstract is to summarise the key findings and methodology used.
If you search a key term via Google Scholar you'll often find published papers where the abstract is the only thing you can read without subscription to Athens or similar: try that to get some ideas of layout maybe?

KatyMac Wed 10-Aug-11 11:51:31

I've submitted it (last night)

I'll get feedback for when I do it properly

Sorry

clutteredup Wed 24-Aug-11 21:01:28

Thanks for this thread I've just had a go at mine in spite of telling DH this evening that he'd have to write it as I thought it was the hardest part! It was tricky but not really as pain bogglingly nightmarishly awful as the rest has been!

Red2011 Wed 07-Sep-11 23:19:48

Bit late with my comment but we are always told NOT to write in the first person. So you shouldn't say "I expected to find..." or "My results showed..." but "It was expected that..." and "The results showed..."
I go back in 2 weeks so expect more threads from me in panic mode by then!

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